It’s 0815 on the Fourth of July, and I’m riding the subway, headed in to the office.
July 4 was always my least favorite holiday. As a kid, its specialness was lost on me, because I was already on summer vacation. When I moved into my own place, I was bothered by the firecrackers adding pointless noise to a stuffy, sultry night. When I got divorced, I surprised both my own and my wife’s lawyer by proposing that we would share Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and Labor Day (which is very close to our son’s birthday), but that I wanted the other winter holidays (Martin Luther King Day and Presidents’ Day), while she could have the summer holidays (Memorial Day and July 4). (She agreed, and everything worked out reasonably well thereafter.)
Today, I’m heading into the office because I’m overstuffed with things to do. I was teaching a class last week, which left very little time to keep up with the other deliverables. Once upon a time, things actually slowed down during the summer; not anymore.
But the other reason that I’m down on July 4 this year is what has happened to our country. We’re broke; we’ve turned into a police state; we’re involved in pointless wars and pointless policies at home. I was never much for thumping my chest and being proud of being an American. I was proud, once, of what we did and what we stood for. But much of that is gone now.
And the next stop on the train is my office, so that will be it for now.